Networking Is More Than Having Business Cards

When she asked, “How do you do that”, I had the opportunity to make my pitch.

You enter the crowded room, looking and feeling great. You’re ready. Dressed to the “nines”, you’re wearing your best suit and have a hundred business cards ready to pass out to anyone you meet. This is what the ‘experts” say you should be doing to promote your business. They call it “networking.”

You’re ready. You begin your journey across the room, eyes scanning the terrain, looking for a friendly face. Half way through the crowd of other prowling business owners, like yourself, you inadvertently bump into a tall blonde woman in a red dress. Clumsily, you excuse yourself. She smiles and says it’s OK. Seizing the opportunity, you whip out your business card and blurt, “Hello, I’m Fred Reinhart.” You proudly add, “I’m in network marketing.” “That’s nice,” she quips, waving across the room to a bearded man in a three piece suit. Shaking your hand she adds, “I’m Kathy Johnson, nice to meet you.” Before you can mutter another word she is off in the direction of the man in the three piece. There you stand, hand out, wondering what went wrong.

What went wrong?

You did everything the books and seminars told you to do. You wore your good suit. You had plenty of cards on hand. You even bought an expensive cologne for the occasion. What happened? Where did you go wrong?

While the above scenario seems amusing, after it has happened to you a few times it loses its humor. Worse yet, people who have had this kind of experience simply conclude they are not cut out for network marketing and tend to drop out of the business. Their income’s suffer and they assume it’s their personality when, in fact, they’ve been taught the wrong techniques.

Care about the other person

There are better ways to network and meet prospective business contacts. For openers, (no pun intended) people are more responsive if you first show some interest in them and what they do. There is an old cliché that says we have one mouth and two ears for a reason. If you listen more than you talk, you will automatically find people more interested in talking with you and being around you.

The well known marketing consultant, Jay Abraham, once said that “Discovery is the fuel of competitive advantage.” Get curious. Become interested in other people and what makes them tick. Really care about the other person. If you take the time to investigate, you will find that even those people who appear quite ordinary have a story to tell. If you show an interest in them and their lives, you will not only increase your chances of doing business with them but you may gain a friend as well. After all, you’re in a people business!

Where’s the pain

One of the keys to gaining new customers and recruits is uncovering the other persons greatest need. What is the source of their pain? If you are speaking to someone whom you just met and, without


Jim Donovan is an international bestselling author, motivational speaker and success coach who specializes in helping people achieve extraordinary results and quantum growth. Learn more at

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